History of the Alvis Car Club of New Zealand
The inaugural meeting of the Alvis Car Club of New Zealand was held on 13th September 1969 at the Avondale Primary School, Auckland. Just two years after the last Alvis car rolled out of the factory. The meeting was described as being “attended by rather less than expected Alvis owners”, but was made up by the enthusiasm of those who did attend. Mr Keith Dorkins was elected the first President of the Club.
One of the initial tasks of the office holders was to list the aims & objects of the Club. These were listed as:
A. To foster & preserve the name & reputation of Alvis cars.
B. To restore & maintain Alvis cars.
C. To compile a register of Alvis owners.
D. To run a spares service & advise members of the availability of spares
E. To promote technical knowledge.
F. To hold rallies for members throughout the year.
G. To hold outings & other social events for members & associate members throughout the year.
Over forty years later it is not surprising that these aims & objects still hold firm.
A set of membership rules were adopted & provision was made for the forming of branch clubs.
The members of the inaugural committee were certainly very dedicated with the first edition of the Alvis Bulletin produced in November 1969 with subsequent editions every three months. The first touring rally was also held in November 1969 with a turnout of nine Alvis cars ranging from a 1934 Alvis Crested Eagle to a 1964 Alvis TD21.
At this time spare parts were available through Red Triangle Spares which was owned by one of the members who offered 10% discount to Alvis Club members.
After only eight months the Club could boast a total of 86 members. In 1972 the membership was still expanding & the first two branches were formed in Christchurch & Wellington. The number of rallies, outings & social functions also increased.
The bulletin was now featuring more & more information with reports on rallies & results, outings, Technical articles, history of particular Alvis cars, letters to the editor & classified advertisements for cars & parts for sale. In July 1975 the format of the bulletin was changed into a more formal booklet & was now called the “The Alvis Journal” but the content remained much the same.
In 1978 the Central Districts branch of the Alvis car club took over the management of the Club & formed the national committee with their base & President domiciled in Palmerston North. At this time the membership stood at 78 members. In 1980 the leadership of the Club was passed back to Auckland where it was felt the bulk of the Alvis Cars were owned.
June of 1982 saw the introduction of a monthly newsletter keeping a similar format as the earlier Alvis Journal. This has continued until the present day. The preferred delivery of the newsletter is now by email although hard copies are still available for those without computer facilities.
One of the focuses of the club over the years has been on the Annual General Meeting. Initially this was a small affair held at one of the committee’s homes. Subsequently this has developed into a weekend event with various other activities to keep us busy. In more recent years the AGM has alternated between the North & South Islands with local members being able to add their own organization skills to the weekend. These have proved very popular with a large number of cars & members attending the weekend.
The Alvis Club of NZ has also hosted New Zealand tours for Alvis owners & their cars from Great Britain & Australia. We in turn have visited Britain & Australia to take part in some of their premier events. This has resulted in many lasting friendships of members of the respective countries.
When the Red Triangle Enterprises company finally closed its doors the remaining spares were purchased by a group of the club members. These were eventually purchased by the Alvis Club & a spares shed was run for the benefit of the members. This is still operating & includes the sale of remade items such as gaskets, engine mounts & aluminium castings.
Although the committee running the Club has changed many times we remain very active with functions to satisfy most enthusiasts. The current membership stands at about 100 people with the total number of cars owned being a similar number.